5 Things That Probably Won't Help You Live Longer

Mature woman smiles

As scientists tease out the surprising secrets to aging well, they're also discounting certain factors once thought important:

  • Your parents' ages. Don't count on repeating long-lived ancestors if you yourself smoke, have high cholesterol, and lead a couch-potato life -- all factors associated with shortening one's lifespan. Lifestyle factors can trump genetics.

  • Enduring fewer stressful life events. It's how one deals with major stressful events, not just the presence or absence of them, that seems to be the bigger X factor.

  • Nationality and geography. "Japanese longevity" or the "French paradox" seem to have more to do with lifestyle and diet than with the virtue of being born in a certain place. The good news: Anyone can adapt the diet of Mediterranean or Okinawan cultures, snack less, exercise more, and reduce stress.

  • Social and economic status. A landmark Harvard study of 10 years ago pegged more education as a more reliable predictor of longevity than higher income or higher social rank.

  • Herbs and supplements. Certain vitamins seem to shore up aspects of health, but no miracle supplement or nutrient cocktail has yet been found to turn back the clock.


over 2 years ago, said...

finding out about exercise while aging and keeping my mind busy.. I do walk but not fast. I will speed up.


over 2 years ago, said...

Herbs and supplements probably won't help you live longer, but they can make the later years that you do have much more pleasant by strengthening your system against some of the problems of aging. Don't overlook a healthier later life because you'll only settle for actual rejuvenation.


almost 3 years ago, said...

I found several things helpful: the idea that there were complex interactions between lifestyle and genes; that our emotional life is even more important than our attitudes; that connectedness with others is very very important; and that it is HOW we handle very stressful events that counts; oh yes, and walking faster is better than slower. Thanks, very helpful.


over 3 years ago, said...

Very good info on aging and living to be a hundred plus. I'm 83 and my wife 81. We intend to make it near a hundred. Now maybe more.


almost 4 years ago, said...

EXCELLENT!1


almost 4 years ago, said...

Activities come in many forms http://sports-trainer.co.uk trainharder@live.co.uk Mark Branton


almost 4 years ago, said...

Raw Juice Therapy


almost 4 years ago, said...

snacking less== maybe snacking more was related to stress


about 4 years ago, said...

Too short, no substance, don't waste your time...no wait, this was longer than the article.


about 4 years ago, said...

Well yes, but I'm European and I like to buy and cook our own food, and I walk, don't smoke, and do not have the AMERICAN ARM. I keep busy, have tons of hobbies, write stories, and do stand-ups at a local theatre twice a month. I'm normally full of life, but just recently have lower back pains. I do get annoyed when you have doctors saying we need to go to a gym, do yoga, etc. as if we are morons, have they ever heard of neck injuries, knee problems etc. it is as if we are children and are just beginning to learn to live.


over 4 years ago, said...

All of it. I'm 80 and still going pretty strong. A husband with Alzheimer's slows me up a bit, but I am working on making time for myself, so I can get more exercise. My goal is to be lean and even more fit when I reach 90.


about 5 years ago, said...

I would appreciate any articles that will lead to health and longevity.


about 5 years ago, said...

I believe that where you live most of your life has more to do with longevity than anything. The retirement "states" and the aging , elderly, health problems of them are not good for the positive thinking that is a big part of living an active older life. Aging after all starts in your mind. Being around things that are familiar and your family is much more important than whether you have to cope with a bit of snow removal.


about 5 years ago, said...

Confirms common sense thoughts about how to take care of one's aging body and mind.


about 5 years ago, said...

It's made me remember my goal to get out and live more and try to follow a more healthier lifestyle.


about 5 years ago, said...

i liked the statement "lifestyle factors can trump genetics"


about 5 years ago, said...

importance of diet in longevity


over 5 years ago, said...

This article was helpful because the author came up with some new ideas that are worth applying to my own lifestyle and thoughts.


over 5 years ago, said...

I have many health problems,and had a stroke,and liver problems,heart problems,sleep apnea.And loss,of appeitte.Bad headaches,sinus infections,always!


almost 6 years ago, said...

The sad part of social and economic status is that the very wealthy don't have to worry about where they will live and what they will eat which takes a lot of the high stress off. Further more, they are able to take vacation, because they have the time and the money. Just look at the age some of the rich and famous that you see on tv. It just goes to prove if money can make you live longer, or it can kill you if you stress out over not having enough - rich or poor.


almost 6 years ago, said...

highly enlightening!


almost 6 years ago, said...

If your reading this article I am betting you would be interested in "The Gerson Miricle" its a dvd u can rent or even see free online if u dont mind comercials. Vary imforative, providing scientific proof, testimonials, live interviews. There is even a plot to kill the doctor who tried submit his findings to the US congress. I can tell u that by following some of the advice my depression was virtually illiminated. When you are healthy you are able to deal with stress without creating more toxic adrenilin that reeks havic on your health, joints, mood etc. You just have to watch it.


about 6 years ago, said...

When you decided to change your lifestyle and be committed to it, also change a bit of your activities, change your food intake, but do not skip meal! and, take the highest quality natural driven products. Believed! yourself that you can do it! Guaranteed! Your Miracles will start working within you! 2-3 weeks are far enough for you to witness a New! You! I was there! so, just believed! that you can do it! am willing to help.


about 6 years ago, said...

This is practical, clear and sensible advice. Thanks for being so direct!


about 6 years ago, said...

Short of living a destructive life, overeating, ignoring informed advice etc. memory loss is one of the biggest contributors to decline.


about 6 years ago, said...

I want someone to chat about the daily aches of 52+...hands especially


about 6 years ago, said...

Need to know how i can live fit and reduce diseases and aging


over 6 years ago, said...

Need info for my husband and myself.


over 6 years ago, said...

Need all the help I can get to live a better life in my senior yrs.


over 6 years ago, said...

Brevity and concise writing. Pointing out how one can utilize what seems to be helpful in other cultures. THanks GG